Alex Smith Answered the Call on Sunday from The Mothership
Nothing was going right.
So when compared to the 183 yards the Bills had put up in the first 15 minutes of the game, the offense had its back against the wall and was going to be challenged to do something they hadn't had to do during their four-game winning streak.
It was their chance to carry the team to a victory, and on a rainy, freezing day at Arrowhead Stadium, the odds didn't look good early.
That put the onus squarely on the shoulders of quarterback
In his biggest game of the season and when his team needed him to lead them from behind, Smith came through for the guys who have stood by him from the beginning.
"We're lucky to have him here," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Smith on Sunday. "He's a heck of a player, great person, good leader, and you just saw it. He does whatever we need him to.
"He gets it done."
Justin Houston to Receive MRI Monday from The Mothership
Another player that had a key sack for the Chiefs thanks to extended playing time was veteran LB
Frank Zombo, but you won't find his mark on the stat sheet.
After Taylor hit running back LeSean McCoy for a 10-yard touchdown, the Bills were still down by 2 points, with the score 24-22 Chiefs.
Bills head coach Rex Ryan opted to go for two points.
Taylor dropped back, scrambled to his left and was sacked by Zombo, whose effort preserved the lead for the Chiefs.
Jeff Allen Returns After Injury to Help Lead Chiefs Offensive Line from The Mothership
"He wanted to go back in the whole time, felt he'd be okay," Reid said of Allen. "We held him out and thought we could kind of cover that up with Zach (Fulton) and then as the numbers started dwindling down, he raced back out there."
Reid said Allen had been wanting to get back on the field even before the injury to Morse.
"It was just letting the reigns off a little bit and [Allen] was out there," he added. "He's a tough kid and he's been that way since we've been here. He's had some injuries, but he always pushes through them.
"If you can push through it, he's going to push through it."
Chiefs Show Depth of Roster on Sunday in Win Over Bills from The Mothership
"I'm always going to tell you, (general manager) John Dorsey and his crew do a phenomenal job of bringing these guys in," he noted.
That statement couldn't have been truer.
The Chiefs are on their third running back, lost two starting offensive linemen during the game and All-Pro linebacker
Justin Houstonleft early with a knee injury as well.
These aren't minor injuries; these are major issues at key spots.
But the Chiefs still move forward because the talent is there and the coaches have these guys ready to play.
Justin Houston knee injury doesn't appear to be season-ending from The Kansas City Star
Coach Andy Reid seemed upbeat Monday that Houston didn't suffer a season-ending injury and said that it was a posterior cruciate ligament sprain based on initial tests. Houston had a similar injury in the playoff loss to the Colts after the 2013 season.
Because that injury occurred in the Chiefs' final game, there's no telling how much time Houston would have missed, and Reid didn't hazard a guess.
"I couldn't tell you," Reid said. "I want to see what the MRI tells us."
David Chao, a former NFL team physician, said PCL injuries typically have a one-to-four week recovery period. Chao also said PCL injuries often do not require surgery and that players with the injury could play with a brace.
Chiefs take wait-and-see approach on LB Justin Houston's knee injury from Chiefs Digest
"It's hard to pinpoint because it will all depend on the severity of the sprain," said Stotts, who holds PES and CES certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. "If it's a low-grade sprain, it's obviously on the quicker end of the spectrum. You're talking one, potentially two weeks.
"If it's more progressive, Grade II, which indicates some partial tearing, you're talking about a more extensive tear and you're talking about obviously a little bit longer recovery process. And then if it were for whatever reason a higher grade, which would be a complete tear, now you're talking likely surgical intervention and out for a significant stretch."
Stotts said the recovery time will vary for the Grade II injury, and could range from three to four weeks on the early end or potentially extend to six weeks.
"You can't double everybody," coach Andy Reid said. "(Travis Kelce) they adjusted to him and doubled him. They were playing for him in this game on a number of occasions. You are not going to be able to double everybody ... you want to make sure you have enough people out there that the defense respects."
Through 11 games, Maclin leads the team in receiving with 57 catches for 772 yards and three touchdown receptions. What does not show up in the statistics are his other contributions to the offense, especially in attitude and blocking for the running game.
"I think whenever my number was called, it's all about being reliable," Maclin said. "I think that's what it's all about. It's not about stats. It's not about catches. It's not about yards. It's about being there when your team needs you and being reliable."
But they will probably have to import some reinforcements for that to happen. After losing left tackle Eric Fisher and center Mitch Morse to injuries, the Chiefs were forced to finish Sunday's 30-22 win over the Buffalo Bills with their only available line substitutes, Zach Fulton and Donald Stephenson, in their lineup.
With one just more injury, the Chiefs would have had round out their line with a tight end or perhaps a defensive lineman. Their only other lineman, Ben Grubbs, has missed the last four games because of a neck injury.
"We didn't have anybody [else],'' coach Andy Reid said. "That wasn't a real pretty picture.''
Chiefs have options on practice squad to add offensive line depth if needed from Chiefs Digest
The Chiefs currently have four offensive linemen on the 10-man practice squad: Guard Jarrod Pughsley, rookie tackle Laurence Gibson, rookie guard/center Michael Liedtke and rookie center Daniel Munyer, whom the Chiefs brought back Monday.
"There are a couple of them we like," Reid told reporters Monday. "We'll be OK there."
The 6-4, 310-pound Pughsley, who spent time on the Chiefs practice squad in 2014, offers versatility to play inside or outside and emerged during training camp to take first-team reps at right tackle.
Pughsley, who played collegiately at Akron, made it to through preseason action with a legitimate chance to make the active roster before being waived on Sept. 5 as part of the final roster cuts.
Chiefs sign C Daniel Munyer to practice squad from Chiefs Digest
The 6-1, 305-pound Munyer has familiarity with the offense after spending the entire offseason and training camp with the Chiefs. He also spent time the first five weeks of the regular season on the practice squad before being waived on Oct. 13.
Munyer, a native of Los Angeles, originally signed with the Chiefs in May as an undrafted free agent out of Colorado.
The Chiefs had an available spot on the practice squad after elevating wide receiver Frankie Hammond Jr., to the active 53-man roster on Saturday.
The Chiefs, who have another five-game winning streak after Sunday's win over the Buffalo Bills, have had trouble finishing their first two seasons under coach Andy Reid. How things looked for them as the season entered its stretch run weren't how they were when January dawned in either 2014 or 2015.
The 6-5 Chiefs again look like they might be a difficult out in the playoffs. None of their four remaining opponents currently has a winning record. The Chiefs face the 5-6 Raiders twice, on Sunday in Oakland and to finish the regular season Jan. 3 at Arrowhead Stadium.
The last five games will again be telling and Reid indicated Monday the Chiefs would make an effort to close their season on a better note this year.
Over the years, the Kansas City Chiefs have drafted more than one player they thought had the ability to become an elite NFL pass-rusher.
Then there was Tamba Hali, the Chiefs' first-round draft pick in 2006. In him, the Chiefs saw a raw player who always tried hard. Maybe, they thought, he could eventually develop into a nice complementary player.
But they didn't think he could be what he has become -- not a top-50 all-time pass-rusher. He was too slow. He wasn't strong enough.
What has happened has surprised even Hali himself.
The Unkillable Kansas City Chiefs from Rolling Stone
When you're only six games into the year, you don't know what you don't know.
After six weeks, the Atlanta Falcons and the Green Bay Packers looked like the class of the NFC. Obviously, that's no longer the case on the last day of November. The Detroit Lions dropped five of their first six and appeared to be regressing at every turn - now, they're riding a three-game winning streak. The Houston Texans were 2-4 and embroiled in a ridiculous QB controversy; now, they're 6-5 and currently hold a playoff spot.
But that's nothing compared to what the Kansas City Chiefs have done lately.
Analysis: But Ryan seemed to outsmart himself against Kansas City Chiefs from The Buffalo News
By now, the Buffalo Bills defense should be dictating, intimidating and leaving quarterbacks bruised, confused and begging for mercy. After flustering Tom Brady on Monday Night Football, it appeared this group was trending in the right direction at the right time.
At Arrowhead Stadium, the Bills — as linebacker Preston Brown said — took "a couple steps back." Their margin of error is now shrinking. So what happened in Sunday's 30-22 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs? How did a defense firing in beautiful chaos one week get burnt for 413 total yards and 21 first downs the next? To Alex Smith?
Days after coach Rex Ryan declared, "This is our defense," the Bills resembled a completely different defense.
Maiorana: Sammy Watkins was brilliant, then ignored from The Buffalo News
Yes, the math indicates the Bills are still alive with their sloppy 5-6 record. Here's the reality: Four teams are ahead of them at 6-5, they are tied with another 5-6 team (Oakland), and unless they win their remaining five games, or win four and get some help, the Bills aren't making it to the postseason.
Sunday's 30-22 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs played out like so many other "must-win" type games the Bills — the masters of false hope — have played in recent years.
Monday Musings: Why smoking-hot Chiefs could catch the Broncos from CBS Sports
The Kansas City Chiefs won a playoff game Sunday.
Take a look at their remaining schedule. Now you will realize what I mean by saying their 30-22 victory over the Buffalo Bills puts them in the playoffs. The Chiefs, who have won five straight games, have a schedule softer than a perfectly done piece of a brisket from one of those Kansas City barbecue joints.
The final five games of the season for the Chiefs: at Oakland (5-6), home against San Diego (3-8), at Baltimore (3-7), home against the Browns (2-8) and home against Oakland. If the Chiefs don't make the playoffs, it will be a great choke job.
AFC Playoff Picture: Colts projected to host Chiefs in Wild Card round from Stampede Blue
The Colts hosting the Chiefs in the Wild Card round of the playoffs would obviously be a rematch of one of the most thrilling playoff games we've seen in recent years, as two years ago the Colts beat the Chiefs in come-from-behind fashion, overcoming a 28-point second half deficit to win 45-44 on an Andrew Luck 64-yard touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton with 4:29 remaining in the game. It was the first playoff win of the Chuck Pagano and Andrew Luck era, and even though they fell behind big, it was an exciting game. This year, the Chiefs were left for dead after a 1-5 start but have now won five in a row to take over possession of the number five seed - all despite losing Jamaal Charles for the season. Alex Smith has played good football and the defense has stepped up, leading Kansas City on a remarkable turnaround that could very well see them get in the playoffs.
There's probably a kernel of truth to what Flores said. Then again, Kelce's dance took place less than 24 hours ago and we all know the outrage cycle needs 36-48 hours to really get going. So fear not. Somewhere a concerned mom is firing up her computer hellbent on letting the Kansas City Star know that her daughter's innocence was lost when a professional athlete performed a pelvic thrust. It's been happening since Elvis.
ESPN Anchor Asks Why There's No Outrage Over White Player's Dance from The Huffington Post
Newton's celebration led to anger, most noticeably in the form of a letter from a Tennessee mom to the editors of The Charlotte Observer, in which she said she would rather have her 9-year-old daughter watch half-naked cheerleaders than *gasp* watch Cam Newton dance. ESPN's Skip Bayless also jumped in too, saying he "thought [the dancing] was a little much for a franchise quarterback" -- hence Flores' "First Take" shout out.
By comparison, there has been near-silence recently when white players or middle-aged coaches have danced to express pleasure recently. But hey, it's only harmless fun when a white guy does it, right?
10 things from Week 12 in the NFL: Brock Osweiler and resurgence of Broncos' running game from The NY Daily News
3. Denver is probably wiping its collective brow over not having to play the Chiefs again. Kansas City strengthened its hold on a Wild Card spot by winning its fifth consecutive game. This one came agains the Bills, one of the teams competing with the Chiefs for a playoff berth.
Kansas City keeps finding a running back who can do the job. First it was Charcandrick West filling in well for Jamaal Charles, out for the season. With West down, Spencer Ware steps up and rushes for 96 yards last week and 114 against Buffalo. Knile Davis, once a top fantasy handcuff for Charles, is an afterthought at this point.
Raiders glad to have games that matter in December for a change from The San Francisco Chronicle
The Raiders will face a Kansas City team that's hard to figure out. The Chiefs started the season 1-5 but have since reeled off five straight wins, all — oddly — coming after the season-ending injury to All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles.
"The Chiefs are a very difficult challenge," Del Rio said. "It's certainly a great opportunity for us against a good football team, a divisional game, here at home."
The Chiefs will probably be interested in some payback. They were the victims in one of the Raiders' three wins last season and finished one game out of the playoffs. So that loss against the struggling Raiders is probably where they place the blame. That was when all the Raiders could hope for was to be a spoiler.
NFL Week 12 overreactions: Patriots no longer AFC favorites? from USA Today
The Kansas City Chiefs are just on a hot streak
The Chiefs - winners of five in a row - are one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now, and they look every bit the part of a legitimate playoff contender.
After taking down the Buffalo Bills 30-22 on Sunday, the Chiefs now stand at 6-5 and have a hold on one of the two AFC wild-card spots. The best news for Kansas City is that it holds the tiebreaker over the other four teams in the conference with the same record.
When I lived in Kansas City, Hall of Fame center Mike Webster played his last two seasons there. The Chiefs weren't particularly that good, but it was a big deal that a player from those famous 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers teams was now on the Chiefs. We'd go to Arrowhead Stadium and I'd watch Webster help make holes for running back Christian Okoye. It was great. What a fun time. Thirteen years later, Webster was living in a pickup truck, had pulled his teeth out and superglued them back in, and was dead at the age of 50. Webster was the first person diagnosed with CTE.
Webster (played by David Morse) plays a huge role in Concussion. Actually, it's startling at first how many real life, very familiar names are portrayed in Concussion: Justin Strzelczyk, Andre Waters, and Dave Duerson are all present (and all have died in real life).
Focus of this year's NFL meetings to be L.A. situation from The Los Angeles Times
Six games into the season, Kansas City was 1-5. Since, the Chiefs have won five games in a row, even though they have been without star running back Jamaal Charles.
Six games into the season, Green Bay was 6-0. Since, the Packers have lost four of five games, even with star quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the helm.
Six games into the season, there wasn't an NFC East team with a winning record.
Same thing. Washington and the New York Giants are tied atop the division at 5-6.